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OWA Browser/Reading Pane Issue?

Posted on 2004-08-30
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I have a Windows Small Business Server 2003 with Outlook Web Access enabled.  I'm certain that the delivery of mail is working just fine.  However, when clients access the Exange server via OWA (using IE) they get (at times) "blue boxes" around all of the buttons and a larger solid blue box below the bottom reading pane.  This larger blue box pushes the reading of the messages upwards and makes reading them almost impossible - you have to scroll through the e-mail where only half of the letter is showing @ a time.

I've ran/installed all Windows updates for XP (including XP SP2) - my browser is also the latest version.  I've also tried using Mozilla to access OWA and it seems better.  However, I'm not sure that Mozilla supports the reading pane function so it may not be a fair test.  Using Mozilla the "blue boxes" around the buttons don't show up though...  I've also tried accessing the website via a Remote Desktop connection (from one of my other clients on SBS 2003) and it seems to work fine.  It almost seems like a browser incompatibility?  Anyway, I've tried almost every other aveneue for support and have come up empty.  Any help is greatly appreciated!


=)
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Question by:dmullen
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by:Sembee
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Check the authentication on the IIS manager for the Exchange virtual directories:
/exchange
/exchweb
/public
/exadmin

All should be basic and integrated ONLY.
In addition, /exchweb should also have anonymous access. No others should have anonymous.

Simon.
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by:dmullen
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Would you please elaborate on how this will help with the way the page(s) are viewed.  There is no authentication problem @ this point.  Everyone is able to log in and see... to some extent... their mail.  However, the results are different for each remote user.  Some are fine and others get the dreaded "Blue Box" @ the bottom of their screen therby inhibiting them from seeing the message in full and having to scroll one line @ a time...
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by:Sembee
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The settings I have indicated are the default and problems with components of the page not loading or OWA in general not behaving itself are usually down to those settings being fiddled with. I have had it so many times that the response you got is now one of my stock answers for OWA issues.
Removing anonymous from /exchweb is the usual cause for missing parts of the web page.
/exchweb holds the standard images, icons that are used by everyone.

This can usually be spotted by looking at the IIS logs and discovering a load of errors when the page tries to load some components.

Simon.
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by:dmullen
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I've tried this and still have the same issue.  Would it be possible to e-mail you a screen shot of what the problem actually looks like.  In additon, once the edits were made I restarted the message store and the WWW services in the Services applet.  I did not reboot the server but thought the re-start of the services might be equivalent...  Please advise...

Thanx in advance for your help,
=)

dmullen
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by:Sembee
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You can email me a screen shot if you like - address is in my profile. Remember that I am in the UK so may not see it for a few hours.

It sounds like there is a problem with /exchweb - which is where the components of OWA are stored.
Check the mapping in IIS manager is to c:\program files\exchsrvr\exchweb - or whatever location Exchange is stored in.

Simon.
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by:Sembee
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Thank you for the screenshot.
I can now see what the problem is - but I don't know what has caused it - I haven't seen it before.
The problem is that a link border has been placed around every image. Each item with the border is also a link that you can click on - hence the blue border.

Its going to be questions again I am afraid.

Anything else installed on this machine? Sharepoint services for example?
Does this apply to all machines - all revisions of Internet Explorer? For example do you have access to a Windows 2000 workstation as well as Windows XP? Does it affect machines that are outside of your network - ie not part of your domain?
Have you attempted to customise any part of OWA?
Has it ever worked correctly?
Has Exchange had SP1 installed?

My instinct says that it has to be one of two things...
1. Something interfering with the OWA functionality that is affecting the code.
2. The OWA code has got corrupted.

I am tempted to say reinstall Exchange. When I say "reinstall" I mean put the CD in and choose "Reinstall" from the options after running setup. This will refresh the Exchange install without affecting the data. There will be a short period of downtime as the Exchange services are stopped during the reinstall process.

Simon.
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by:dmullen
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Well...  It's seems to be working now!  I had done as you'd instructed before with "checking the permissions" on each of the virtual websites.  I thought it might be best to re-boot the server (SBS 2003) to let the new permissions come info effect on boot up.  Once that was accomplished, I reset my browser (IE 6.X from XP SP2) and it came across fine!  I'd still like to know the "what/why" portion of this issue but consider it closed for now.  Thanx for your hard work and quick response to my questions.  It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who thought the screen shot looked crazy!  Thanx again for your efforts!!

Kind regards,

dmullen
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Sembee earned 250 total points
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Excellent - glad to hear that you have it working.
Don't forget to close the question.

Simon.
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